It won’t be short of a dram or two…
A hotel on the world famous whisky island of Islay has been sold to a distillery group after being put up for sale at £2.5 million.
The Islay Hotel in Port Ellen was marketed as a “rare opportunity to purchase a profitable, high quality hotel on Scotland’s world renowned whisky coast”.
It opened its doors 11 years ago, following a major rebuild with no expense spared.
The Glenmorangie Company, which is part of the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) group – and owns the nearby Ardbeg Distillery – purchased the Islay Hotel for an undisclosed sum.
The company said the move would allow it to “create another world-class whisky and hospitality experience” on Islay.
The property features 13 en-suite bedrooms, all individually designed, along with a popular restaurant and, of course, a whisky bar.
Guests can walk to the famous Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg whisky distilleries.
Other Islay sites making whisky, gin and rum are a 20–40-minute drive away.
Two new whisky distilleries, both within walking distance of the hotel, are due to open in 2023.
Previous owner Roland Worthington-Eyre, who developed the hotel, said: “The dream was to rebuild the Islay Hotel which had been closed for 20 years and I am really happy that was achieved.”
A spokeswoman for The Glenmorangie Company said: “We are investing in the future of Ardbeg’s island home by purchasing the Islay Hotel.
“By bringing the hotel under our ownership, we will be able to create another world-class whisky and hospitality experience on Islay, offering outstanding accommodation, food and drink to residents, tourists and Ardbeg fans alike.
“The Islay Hotel already has a wonderful reputation for hospitality, and we intend to spend some time developing our knowledge and understanding of the hotel before confirming any new offerings.”
Christie and Co said the original partners who developed the hotel were looking to retire and hoping a buyer with “vision, passion and energy” will take it on to the next chapter.
The firm also highlighted “excellent growth opportunities” to add at least eight bedrooms and a spa.
Distilling for 200 years more
Gary Witham, director at Christie & Co, said: “It’s very rare to see a quality hotel on the market in such an outstanding island location which is highly profitable – and still has the potential for further growth.”
Ardbeg’s President and chief executive Thomas Moradpour said: “Ardbeg has been rooted on Islay for over 200 years.
“And since we plan to be distilling on the island for at least 200 more, we are excited to invest even further in our homeland, by purchasing the Islay Hotel and creating a world-class whisky and hospitality experience.”
He added: “We look forward to welcoming whisky fans from Islay and around the globe.”
Islay’s nine working distilleries are Bowmore, Bruichladdich, Kilchoman, Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardnahoe – with three more in the pipeline.